Ranks 152 of 187 countries in the Human Development Index
Life expectancy at birth: 58 years
ADD established: 1998
Country Director: Sixbert Mzee
Number of disabled people’s organisations ADD works with: 15
Number of DPO members: 58,192 (est.)
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was signed on 30.03.07 and ratified on 29.09.08. The Persons with Disabilities ACT, 2010.
As in many other countries, disability was viewed as a misfortune requiring sympathy for the person affected. Prior to its independence in 1961, the only active organisation in Tanzania was the Society for the Blind which was supported by the colonial government and church based organisations.
In 1969 the Tanzania Association of People with Physical Impairments (CHAWATA) representing people with all impairments was formed. They soon recognised that people with different impairments had their own specific requirements and during the 1970s-1990s supported the formation and registration of five impairment specific organisations.
In 1992 a group of disability activists formed SHIVYAWATA (the Tanzania Federation of People with Disabilities Association), a national umbrella organisation that now has nine affiliate DPOs who work together to demand their rights through advocacy and lobbying.
CHAWATA still exists and is supported by ADD, along with the other five organisations.
With ADDs support and training, links between SHIVYAWATA and DPOs have vastly improved and the vital skills both organisations have acquired means they can confidently and effectively decide their own priorities and activities. They have also built strong links with the government and other international charities in order to ensure disability is included in their plans and policies.